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Improper Sexual Behaviors in Elders with Dementia Living in Residential Care

de Medeiros K.a, b · Rosenberg P.B.a, b · Baker A.S.a, b · Onyike C.U.a, b
aDepartment of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Md., bTheCopper Ridge Institute, Sykesville, Md., USA Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord 2008;26:370–377 (DOI:10.1159/000163219)


Objectives: There exists little information describing the spectrum and correlations of sexual behaviors manifested by elders with dementia living in residential care. Methods: Data are from a retrospective case-control study of improper sexual behaviors manifested by 165 elders with dementia living in a residential care facility in 2005. Results: Three types of behavior were evident: (1) intimacy-seeking, (2) disinhibited, and (3) nonsexual. Intimacy-seeking behaviors were associated with Alzheimer disease, and disinhibited behaviors with non-Alzheimer dementias. Behavior type was associated with dementia severity. Conclusions: Delineation of the types of improper sexual behaviors occurring in dementia has practical implications for practice and research. Progress will require prospective studies with systematic ascertainment of cases and variables, and recruitment from large sampling frames.


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